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2016-2017 AC Milan Season Preview: Like A Phoenix From the Ashes?

With the 2016-2017 Serie A season right around the corner, and Milan with a new owner and coach, one can only be intrigued with the post-Berlusconi era.

UC Sampdoria v Genoa CFC - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Introduction:

We are officially in the post-Berlusconi era. Finally, finally, Milan was sold. Despite Berlusconi’s desperate attempt to return Milan into a competitive team internationally and in the Serie A, he failed and was forced to sell the club.

The takeover occurred on August 5th, and the agreement had Silvio Berlusconi release a 99.93% stake to groups operating through the SINO-EUROPE Sports Investment Management Changxing Co. LTD.

With Milan’s first game on August 21st against Torino, it’s time to stop discussing Milan’s ownership and dive into the question: Can Milan fire themselves back into European football?

The Coach and Tactics

In the past three years, Milan has changed managers five times. From Clarence Seedorf to Filippo Inzaghi to Sinisa Mihajlovic to Cristian Brocchi, and now, Milan’s most recent acquisition, Vincenzo Montella. Judging from the trend, Montella does not appear he will last, but who knows with the new owners?

Stints with teams like Catania, Fiorentina, and Sampdoria, have shown Montella’s ability to operate within the means of his squad, yet there has always been a relatively pungent offensive theme to his strategies.

A strong mentality from Montella will, hopefully, assist Milan’s inconsistent and volatile performances but, at the same time, Milan may need some time to adapt to Montella’s dribbling and possession based strategy.

Montella will probably line up the Rossoneri with a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation, but higher quality attack-focused transfers would be necessary to guarantee creativity, assists, and goals. It seems extremely unlikely that Milan will splash-the-cash this summer transfer window, but the splurge of cash is sure to come by winter time.

This may be how Montella lines up Milan:

The ? is of a center midfielder that Milan is looking to sign. Hopefully Bacca does not depart Milan since he is truly the backbone of Milan’s attack and because of Romagnoli’s preexisting relationship with Montella he is sure to lead the defense and start each of Milan’s attack.

Schedule

Here are Milan’s matches through October:

Milan plays against Juventus during week nine on Sunday, October 23 and during week 28 on Sunday, March 12.

Milan plays against Inter Milan during week 13 on Sunday, November 20th and during week 32 on Saturday, April 15th.

Predictions:

Because of Milan’s lack of transfers and a brand-new coach coupled with new owners it would be naive to think Milan will be able to make European football. Failure has been so deeply rooted in Milan that overhauling Milan will take more than one season.

This is why a 6th place finish seems like a realistic finish for Milan.